Korbit has announced a $3m Series A funding round, led by Softbank Ventures Korea.
The first bitcoin to Korean won exchange, Korbit had previously received a seed funding round of $400,000 in January, which brought its funding total at the time to $600,000 in angel investing overall. Although it offers an English-language version of its website, Korbit's services are targeted at the Korean domestic market.
CEO Tony Lyu told CoinDesk that Korbit intends to reinvest the extra funding to improve the quality of the company's products and services.
Korbit will also seek to acquire new talent with the capital.
Venture capitalists praise bitcoin, Korea
partner Kangjoon Ryan Lee expressed optimism in his comments, speaking positively about both bitcoin and its advantages over current payment networks.
Lee framed bitcoin as a solution to the high costs imposed by financial intermediaries, saying:
CEO Dan Morehead expressed the reasons for his company's interest in Korbit and Korea in a statement, citing the fact that South Korea has historically been an early adopter of digital goods.
Korbit gains traction in Korea
Korbit offers a bitcoin wallet, merchant payment processing service and a bitcoin exchange. In March, it launched a cryptographic proof-of-reserves system called BitTrust, via which users can register to verify their account balances are stored as claimed.
The company says it has signed up 25,000 individual users to its consumer services, and more than 400 merchants to the business-oriented Korbit Pay. The company's clients include offline merchants such as Nescafe (coffee) in Gangnam and Natuur (ice cream) in Pangyo, while its online merchants include Hanintel (lodging reservation) and News Peppermint (news translation).
South Korea has a relatively small but growing bitcoin user community, driven mainly by online payment services that aim to satisfy the country's large young population of online shoppers and gamers.
Images via Korbit
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